Edwin H. Abbot


John Muir


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WISCONSIN CENTRAL COMPANIES. PRESIDENT'S OFFICE. WISCONSIN CENTRAL R. R. Co.MILWAUKEE & LAKE WINNEBAGO R. R. Co.CHICAGO, WISCONSIN & MINNTSOTA R. R. Co. EDWIN H. ABBOT, PRESIDENT. MILWAUKEE, WIS., Jany. 29, 1897. [illegible]Prof. John Muir, Martinez, California. Dear Mr. Muir:- Your kind letter of Jany. 19th is forwarded me here where I am for a few days. I agree with every word you say, and I think that Robert Herrick struck the key-note when he spoke of the fulness of Philip's life. It was singularly complete. It was an ideal life, so to speak, which would afterwards be lived over and over again in various ways in the world and on natural plains, where it would have been his to have realized the spiritual outlines of his previous experience. But he closed his existence in this world with the end of what was, in my judgment , his educational period and his education, as I look back over the twenty-nine years, seems to me to have been exactly what, had I to do it over again, I would now plan it should be. If a man has money enough for freedom of motion, physical and intellectual, he has all that any amount of wealth can possibly give him, and the only thing which personally any man can get out of wealth which is worth having. Circumstances enabled Philip to enjoy this rare privilege, and he used it to its full. I trust the time may come when we may sit down together and talk of these things. My brother has returned so filled with enthusiastic friendship that I greatly desire to meet you, and I trust you will never lose an opportunity if it comes within your reach, as I certainly shall not if it ever comes within mine. I do not see how an intelligent man, looking back upon the past, can help seeing that our lives are guided and controlled in wonderful ways, beyond the reach of those things which are covered by our own freedom of will and action. Swedenborg says I that we can see the Divine Providence in the back, but not in the face, that is, in the past, but not in the present, because this would take away our moral freedom. But when- the life has gone out of the present and its events have gone back into the colorless past, I do not see how a man can truly view it without perceiving that there has been in and over his own life a guidance and a guardianship not less manifest than we know we, unconsciously to the child, exercise over our own children. Philip was our most intimate friend, and I am02228


Milwaukee, Wisc.

Date Original



Original letter dimensions: 26 x 20 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0665

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Page 1


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle